One of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus (Book Review)

Title: One of Us Is Lying 

Author: Karen M. McManus 

Genre: YA Mystery Fiction

Pages: 360

Five teens with different reputations attend detention after a teacher found mobile phones in their bags. Bronwyn, an goody-two-shoes A+ student, Addy, a picture perfect princess, Nate, your typical rule breaker and criminal, Cooper, all muscle jock, and Simon, the creator of Bayview High’s notorious gossip app. Detention ended with only 4 students remaining alive, leaving Simon dead. The day after he dies, Simon initially planned to post juicy gossip about all four of his high-profile classmates, which makes all four of them suspects in his murder. But here’s the catch, who did it? Are they really the perfect bunch to murder Simon?

Honestly, the whole premise itself was a sure read for me. This book is no stranger especially after seeing and hearing it in booktube and booktok all the time. I was hesitant digging my nails into it since I thought I was setting up myself to cringe again at stereotypical high school starter pack characters, but boy WAS I WRONG!

Let me tell you, the characters in this book really brought everything to life. Without them, I would literally just be inching my way through the novel, but I WAS OBVIOUSLY WRONG! It was an addictive read since each character was so relatable, authentic, and REAL which has a way of talking to the reader. Karen M. McManus candidly articulated high school students’ everyday struggles dealing with a false sense of reputation and confidence. 

This book was such a delight to read because its ending will definitely not disappoint you. Throughout the novel, the characters undergo changes and growth establishing a concrete evidence of character development. And, this is no ordinary blossoming, it is an improvement to their personality! One of Us Is Lying has one of the most three-dimensional characters transcending the stereotypical contemporary YA characters. The plot was not only the definitive factor for you to read this, but the CHARACTERS as well!

Okay, let’s now move on to romance! I mean, who doesn’t love a good bad boy meets good girl type of romance?

Despite the characters’ pronounced differences, Karen M. McManus executed the romance in this novel flawlessly because she made the characters constantly gravitate towards each other in unexpected circumstances. I liked Bronwyn and Nate’s relationship the most because how can two complete opposites attract? 

At first, I was skeptical of the whole romance thing with this novel because I was completely sure it was going to be cringing with another jock + popular girl duo. However, Addy proved me wrong! She manifested the ugliness of being in an unhealthy relationship, finding your role in a romantic relationship, and finding liberty from it. So, if you’re into the messy kind of romance, this book might be the one for you!

Unlike Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson or Charlotte Holmes Series by Britanny Cavallero, this book is more dreary and gloomy as it accentuates prevalent teen struggles in high school. The mystery revolves around the death of the owner of a notorious gossip app! Pretty angsty, if I say so myself. I have to admit, this novel was not completely unpredictable. Although the beginning kept me on the edge of my seat, I already anticipated the ending when I got through 200 pages. Nonetheless, if you’re looking for the next YA mystery book on your shelf, grab One of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus



  1. I absolutely love Nate and Bronwyn’s relationship – you can imagine how cute they would look in reality! And Karen has really balanced the mystery well! One Of Us Is Lying is a very amazing book. Nice review, Bianca!

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s